textentry doc.

Free-form input

In addition to multiple-choice questions and labeled-diagram questions, you can also specify questions with free-form input.  Open-ended questions have been found to increase learning and retention; apparently the greater cognitive effort better “exercises” the brain’s recall circuits (see Make it Stick: the Science of Successful Learning, Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel, Belknap Press, 2014).

In free-form input quiz questions, users select potential answers from suggestions provided once the user has typed a few letters into the input text box.  A “loose-matching” algorithm shows suggestions based on word sounds in addition to word spellings, so that success is not hindered by minor spelling mistakes.

In addition to the correct-answer words that you specify (as shown below), suggestions come from a “default list” of about 500 biology-related terms.  You can provide an alternate list of terms for any quiz, and you can add terms to the default list or to the quiz-specific list.  See Free-format-input terms.

Here is a simple example of free-form input in quizzes.  You place a free-form input text box with the shortcode [textentry].  You provide a correct-answer word with the correct-choice shortcode [c*].

[qwiz]

[q] In a eukaryotic cell, the genetic material is normally in the [textentry].

[c*] nucleus

[/qwiz]

 

That’s all that’s required.  Here’s the resulting single-question quiz:

[qwiz]

[q]

In a eukaryotic cell, the genetic material is

normally in the [textentry].

[c*] nucleus

[/qwiz]

In this case the Qwiz plugin provides default positive feedback (such as “Good!”) as well as negative feedback (such as “Sorry, that’s not correct”).

As the next example shows, you can specify additional correct words and specific feedback for each word with [c*]-[f] shortcode pairs (for “correct choice” and “feedback”).  You can also provide specific feedback for specific incorrect words with [c]-[f] shortcode pairs.  The feedback given with an [f] shortcode can apply to multiple words — enter words separated by semicolons following either the [c*] or [c] shortcode.

Finally, you can provide specific feedback for any other selection (that is, any word from the suggestion list that has not been specified with a [c*] or [c] shortcode).  You enter feedback for “other” by using a “wildcard choice” code — a [c] followed by an asterisk — to indicate
“other choice”, and then following that with an [f] shortcode.  This example includes such a choice (which you can see if you scroll down with the small scrollbar at the right):

[qwiz]

[q] In the diagram, what is the number 3 pointing to?

04_simple-numbered-membrane

[textentry]

[c*] protein channel

[f] Yes, excellent — this channel forms a pore that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[c*] ion channel; ion pump; ion transporter

[f] Yes, very good; this could be a protein that forms an active transport channel, or it could form a passive channel.

[c*] pore; membrane pore

[f] Yes, this is a protein that forms a channel through the membrane

[c*] channel; membrane channel

[f] Yes, this is a protein that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[c] transmembrane protein

[f] While this is a transmembrane protein, what purpose does it serve?

[c] protein

[f] While this is a protein, it is a particular kind that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[c] *

[f] No, this is a kind of membrane protein that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[x] [restart]

[/qwiz]

 

Here’s how the quiz appears:

[qwiz]

[q] In the diagram, what is the number 3 pointing to?

[textentry]

[c*] protein channel

[f] Yes, excellent — this channel forms a pore that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[c*] ion channel; ion pump; ion transporter

[f] Yes, very good; this could be a protein that forms an active transport channel, or it could form a passive channel.

[c*] pore; membrane pore

[f] Yes, this is a protein that forms a channel through the membrane

[c*] channel; membrane channel;

[f] Yes, this is a protein that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[c] transmembrane protein

[f] While this is a transmembrane protein, what purpose does it serve?

[c] protein

[f] While this is a protein, it is a particular kind that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[c] *

[f] No, this is a kind of membrane protein that allows molecules to cross the membrane

[x] [restart]

[/qwiz]

Options

Plurals.  You can specify that plural forms of the words in the default terms list be shown as suggestions to the user.  This will be useful if your question may be most naturally posed as having a plural answer.  For example, alternative answers to the question, “What is the primary component of cell membranes?” should be in plural form (such as “phospholipids”).

Flashcard-deck-specific terms.  As mentioned above, you may enter or specify your own list of default terms, or add terms to the default list.  This can be done separately, with distinct lists, for each quiz, if you like.  See Free-format-input terms.

Flashcards

The act of “recall” prompted by flashcards has been found to be good for learning and retention — more so than choosing among multiple-choice answers.  Apparently the greater cognitive effort better “exercises” the brain’s recall circuits (see Make it Stick: the Science of Successful Learning, Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel, Belknap Press, 2014).

Of course, the student has to make the recall effort; the improvement in retention does not occur on simple re-reading or by simply flipping the flashcard over to view the answer.  Thus required entry on flashcards encourages students to make that recall effort.

On free-form-required-input flashcards, students select an answer from suggestions provided once the student has typed a few letters into the input text box.  A “loose-matching” algorithm shows suggestions based on word sounds in addition to word spellings, to further lessen the dependence of success on spelling ability.  Once the student has chosen a word from the list, then the “Check answer” button is enabled and the card back can be viewed.

In addition to the correct-answer words that you specify (as shown below), suggestions come from a “default list” of about 500 biology-related terms.  You can provide an alternate list of terms for any flashcard deck, and you can add terms to the default list or to the
deck-specific list.  See Free-format-input terms.

As in the default [textentry] input option, you specify the location of the user entry field for free-form-required-input flashcards with the shortcode [textentry].  You specify the required-input option by including a word-choice shortcode [c] followed by the target word in the list of suggested words.  (In the default option, an entry is not required in the input field before the back of the card can be viewed.  In both the default and required-input cases the entry will be shown on the back side of the card with a phrase like “You wrote _______”.)

Here is a simple example of free-form required input on flashcards.  The front side of the card is specified after the “question” shortcode [q].  You place a free-form input text box with the shortcode [textentry].  You provide a target word with the choice shortcode [c].  The back side (“answer”) side of the card is specified after the shortcode [a].

[qdeck]

[q] This diagram illustrates [textentry].

cell-division-diagram

[c] meiosis

[a] This diagram illustrates meiosis.

cell-division-diagram

[/qdeck]

 

Here’s how this flashcard with free-form required input appears when you view the page:

[qdeck]

[q] This diagram illustrates [textentry].

[c] meiosis

[a] This diagram illustrates meiosis.

[/qdeck]

Entry-specific feedback

You can specify feedback — card-back-side/answer text — that varies depending on the word the user selects from the suggestion list.  You can do this by entering a word-choice – answer pair ([c] – [a]) for each alternate entry – feedback.  For example,

[c] meiosis

[a] Yes, the diagram illustrates meiosis.

[c] mitosis

[a] The diagram does illustrate cell division, but it’s a particular type.  How many chromosomes does each “daughter” cell have?

 

You can also provide feedback for “other” with a wildcard word:

[c] *
[a] No, that’s not correct.  This is a type of cell division.

 

Finally, you can have multiple words share the same feedback — enter words with semicolons between them after a [c] shortcode.

[q] What is the primary component of cell membranes?[textentry]

[c] lipids; lipid bilayer

[a] Yes, cell membranes are composed primarily of lipids, or, more specifically, phospholipids.

[c] phospholipids; phospholipid bilayer

[a] Yes.

[c] *

[a] Cell membranes are composed primarily of phospholipids.

 

Note: when more than one [c] – [a] pair of word-choices – answers are given, but the “other” choice – answer ([c] * [a]) is not provided, then the answer from the first [c] – [a] pair will be used for other user entries.

Finally, also note that the shortcode [f] (for “feedback”) can be used as a synonym for [a] (“answer”).

Options

Plurals.  You can specify that plural forms of the words in the default terms list be shown as suggestions to the user.  This will be useful if your flashcard question may be most naturally posed as having a plural answer.  For example, alternative answers to the question, “What is the primary component of cell membranes?” should be in plural form (such as “phospholipids”).

Flashcard-deck-specific terms.  As mentioned above, you may enter or specify your own list of default terms, or add terms to the default list.  This can be done separately, with distinct lists, for each flashcard deck, if you like.  See Free-format-input terms.

What’s new

The new book, Make it Stick: the Science of Successful Learning, by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel (Belknap Press, 2014) prompted the new free-form input quiz questions and required-input flashcards.  The act of “recall” prompted by flashcards is good for learning and retention — more so than choosing among multiple-choice answers.  Apparently the greater cognitive effort better “exercises” the brain’s recall circuits.

The free-form input option attempts to deal with two issues.  First, the student has to make the recall effort; the improvement in retention does not occur on simple re-reading or by simply flipping the flashcard over to view the answer.  Thus required entry on flashcards encourages students to make that recall effort.  Likewise, a free-form input quiz question encourages students to search their mind for the answer rather than scanning given multiple-choice answers.

Second, in free-form input, minor spelling mistakes might hinder success.  In Qwiz’s free-format input option, students select an answer from suggestions provided once the student has typed a few letters into the input text box.  A “loose-matching” algorithm shows suggestions based on word sounds in addition to word spellings, to further lessen the dependence of success on spelling ability.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *